Spaceship is a game for a grownup to play with a kid. It's a simpler variant of air land sea.

Object: Blow up the other player's spaceship by hitting it four times.

Stuff You Need: Paper, pencil, and two dice (preferably 6-siders).

How to Play:

1. On a single sheet of paper, the two players each draw a spaceship. Anything goes. This is your game board. (Don't get attached to your spaceships.) You can also downloada GIF of the spaceships used in the example above.

2 The kid rolls a die. They decide whether to use the result for their own spaceship's score or to give the score to the grownup. Higher is better. The kid puts the die on the spaceship that they choose.

3. The grownup rolls the other die and puts it on the other spaceship.

4. Whichever spaceship has the better score shoots the other spaceship. The player draws a line from their spaceship to the opponent's spaceship (representing a laser beam, a positron torpedo's trajectory, the etheric wake of a quantum drone, or whatever) and draws an explosion where the line hits the enemy spaceship. If the dice are tied, both ships shoot each other.

5. Once a ship has been hit 4 times, the other player wins. If both ships are hit for the fourth time on the same turn, then the game's a draw.

The point of the game is to teach simple game choices and probability. It's also rigged so that the grownup usually loses but will sometimes win. Don't tell the child whether a "3" or a "4" is good or bad. Let them figure it out. For the grownup, the fun part is drawing the spaceship and describing the sci-fi weaponry you're using.

2001, Apri 2004

Sebastian's Spaceship: A variant.